Research on innovative technological methods in SMEs' production processes is progressively receiving attention. However, little is known about the emerging phenomenon of additive manufacturing (AM), which may represent a significant strategic lever for fostering a company's competitiveness and performance, especially for SMEs. Our aim is to investigate the effects of AM on SMEs' production process, in order to better understand the relative outcomes of such an innovative technique. We used latent content analysis for empirically analyzing SMEs present in one of the most important Italian gold jewelry districts. Our findings suggest that the AM introduction in a company's production process effectively results in many positive outcomes, such as process innovation, customer satisfaction, costs, revenues, profits, and competitive advantage. Specifically, there is a positive linkage between AM and a company's performance. Hence, such an innovative technique may be interpreted as a viable growth strategy for SMEs. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.

Additive Manufacturing in SMEs: Empirical Evidences from Italy

Marzi G.;
2018-01-01

Abstract

Research on innovative technological methods in SMEs' production processes is progressively receiving attention. However, little is known about the emerging phenomenon of additive manufacturing (AM), which may represent a significant strategic lever for fostering a company's competitiveness and performance, especially for SMEs. Our aim is to investigate the effects of AM on SMEs' production process, in order to better understand the relative outcomes of such an innovative technique. We used latent content analysis for empirically analyzing SMEs present in one of the most important Italian gold jewelry districts. Our findings suggest that the AM introduction in a company's production process effectively results in many positive outcomes, such as process innovation, customer satisfaction, costs, revenues, profits, and competitive advantage. Specifically, there is a positive linkage between AM and a company's performance. Hence, such an innovative technique may be interpreted as a viable growth strategy for SMEs. Theoretical and managerial implications are discussed.
2018
3D printing
3DP
Additive manufacturing
case study
competitiveness
Italy
new product development
process innovation
product innovation
SMEs
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Utilizza questo identificativo per citare o creare un link a questo documento: https://hdl.handle.net/20.500.11771/21976
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